We’ll Be Fine.
“But Ian hyung, you’re not taking acting lessons these days?”
Ian wiped his sweat with a towel. They were in the middle of choreography practice. Spring is over and it’s July. Awy will debut with a mini album. The agency was in the middle of collecting songs.
“Heol. Ian, just take the lesson. Don’t be conscious of us.”
Lee Joo Hyuk said in a hurry. Ian shook his head.
“No. There’s nothing more to learn, so they’re looking for another teacher?”
“Wow, so cheeky.”
Said Kim Ju Young. It wasn’t as subtle as before. He envied Ian to his heart’s content. And Ian was being prideful to his heart’s content.
When Jo Tae Woong joined Kim Ju Young, the three of them quarreled and played. The youngest Park Seo Dam shook his head as those 18-year-olds played like elementary school students.
“Guys. Done with practice?”
“Hello, Director Seo!”
“Can you come to the conference room for a while?”
‘What are we having for lunch today?’ is the biggest concern between them these days.
As they headed upstairs to the conference room, they began a lengthy discussion whether it was cold noodles or kimchi stew. It was not different from a 100-minute debate.
The light and lively atmosphere were reversed when they arrived at the conference room. CEO Lee sat solemnly with his hands clasped and chin on his thumbs, and a person in a suit they saw for the first time bowed his head lightly to greet.
“Hello, CEO Lee!”
“Yeah, sit down.”
The trainees looked puzzled as they sat across. The quick-witted Ian was the only one who was guessing full of expectation.
“This is our company’s legal adviser, Attorney Jung Hyun Tae.”
“Haha, the kids are lively.”
Attorney. And 7 trainees all gathered. The children’s faces were flushed.
Attorney Jung took out documents. Seo Su Ryeon received it and held it out in front of the children.
BHL Entertainment‘s Exclusive Contract.
“If it’s up to me, I’m going to tie you to the chair and ask you to sign it right away.”
“But you still have to look at the contract, guys. It’s okay to get legal advice separately whether from your parents or anyone else. The contract period is 7 years.”
When CEO Lee finished speaking, a staff brought a basket. The basket contained the cell phones that each had given to the company.
“We’re running out of time, so can you review it by tomorrow?”
“Give me a pen, please.”
Kim Hyun signed the document without anyone stopping him.
“Hey hey hey! Didn’t you hear me?”
“I heard it, sir.”
“Ah. It’s been a while since I acted like a kind adult.”
Still, CEO Lee seemed to be in a good mood. Attorney Jung took a copy and Kim Hyun stared at his share of the contract then left the conference room with his cell phone.
“You guys, don’t also do that just because he did. Think carefully. You are free to ask Attorney Jung here.”
Ian also came out with the contract and his cell phone. Because he has to take pictures and send them to his parents.
He signed the trainee contract without saying anything before, so he had to obey his parents this time.
Other trainees were dispersed as well. When waiting for a fast reply, Ian realized.
‘Oh right, time difference.’
Should I make a call? Ian looked around and opened the emergency exit door. Someone was already on the phone there.
“Uh, Mom. I signed the contract.”
A voice that was about to burst into tears. It was Kim Hyun. Cheers were heard over the phone. The conversation could not be heard properly, but a woman and man took turns rejoicing.
“No, I saw it right. You know, I’ve seen a lot of contracts.”
He replied that he was always fine. The call didn’t take long. After receiving encouragement and cheers from his family, Kim Hyun hung up the phone. The sound of slumping resounded through the stairs.
Soon a sobbing sound was heard. Jin said as if it were absurd.
［What the, is he crying?]
Jin murmured, ‘Why signed it right away, what if it’s a slave contract?’ ‘I’m already exhausted’. Ian lightly ignored it. He was going to only extract information from Jin’s words from now on.
If someone who doesn’t know sees it, they might say that it’s just a piece of paper. A guy like Jin would say, ‘What are you doing, crying?’. But Ian couldn’t laugh at him.
‘I want to be a singer, Mom!’
Kim Hyun spent more than half of his life as a trainee. Unlike Kim Ju Young, who became a trainee due to his parents’ push, he had a firm belief that he would become an idol since he was 8 years old.
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He got attention from the media as a dance prodigy, he participated in audition programs 3 times. And 3 failed debuts. One of them passed the 3rd evaluation and joined the final debut group, but was unfortunately eliminated.
A series of hopeless torture, whether it will work or not. Some people have already contacted asking ‘how are you doing’ after their debut, but Kim Hyun couldn’t get rid of the feeling that he was standing still without progressing alone.
‘Just once. Just this one more try and if it doesn’t work, I’ll study and go to college.’
After the persuasion of BHL Entertainment’s CEO Lee Byung Hun, Kim Hyun moved his agency with his last determination.
It was the exclusive contract that he finally received after hard work. How much he looked forward to the day he could sign this contract.
Ian, who experienced Kim Yong Min’s days, was able to fully understand his feelings… He couldn’t just ridicule or treat it lightly.
Ian quietly closed the emergency exit door.
Only a contract. However, the weight of that piece of paper may have been unmeasurably heavy for Kim Hyun.
‘I think it’s fine, but what do you think?’
［It’s fine. Especially the settlement part.]
Ian flapped the contract on the spot. He also has experience in handling contracts.
‘It’s 7 to 3? Why are the conditions so good?’
Ian stared at the letters in surprise. Reading again, Ian’s side was 7.
The usual settlement ratio was often 5 to 5. At most, it was 6 to 4. But even that was often given after deducting the lesson fees and allowances received when they were trainees.
After looking closely at it for a while, there seemed to be no poisonous clause. Ian went straight into the conference room.
“Uh? What’s this, everyone?”
“Uh, you’re here?”
While Ian signed the contract and packed his share of documents, the door of the conference room opened roughly. Kim Ju Young presented the signed contract to CEO Lee with a resolute look.
“Ok. Last Kim Ju Young.”
Jo Tae Woong got up feeling relieved. What? Did you all sign it already? Park Jin Hyuk laughed grinningly.
“We really can’t run away now.”
“Crazy. It’s a whopping 7 years, 7 years. We’ll be together for 7 years, it’s going to be nasty.”
“Wow, thinking of seeing Jo Tae Woong ssi‘s face for 7 years…”
“The feeling is great, isn’t it? Your heart softens, right?”
“Let’s never meet again.”
The children relaxed and giggled as a group. However, no one pointed out that Kim Hyun was absent. Everyone will know vaguely. That Kim Hyun needs time to be alone.
“Guys. I said to take a closer look, right.”
CEO Lee sighed.
“CEO Lee said that but we can see your cheekbones going up, you know?
“Heheu, you caught me. Ju Young, did you have a good call with your mother?”
“No, I didn’t!”
Kim Ju Young smiled brightly.
“What’s there if Mom Dad says anything. I’ve already signed it!”
It was a really resolute face. CEO Lee shook his head at that.
Since they’re minors, the contract is finalized only when the guardian’s signature is also received. Looking at Kim Ju Young’s bright face not knowing that, CEO Lee quietly organized the documents because he could not handle pouring cold water.
His neck suddenly went numb as he thought of making confirmation calls to the parents later.
* * *
“Hyung, did you bring alcohol to the dorm?”
Dawn when everyone is asleep. What Ian saw as he headed to the kitchen to drink water was Lee Joo Hyuk, who was holding and drinking a can of beer.
“Sorry, can you keep it a secret from the others?”
It wasn’t something Ian wanted to notice either. Since most of this team’s age group is underage and although it was even forbidden to bring alcohol into the dorm, Ian thought Lee Joo Hyuk is worth drinking alcohol as the team’s only 20s.
‘Ah, I want to drink.’
Ian would also have drunk soju from the crate if this body wasn’t a minor.
“What is going on?”
Ian sat across to talk to Lee Joo Hyuk, who seems to have a lot of thoughts. Lee Joo Hyuk’s face turned red. No way, is he drunk from just a can of beer?
“Just… We signed a contract today.”
“So, I just…”
Seeing that his pronunciation is slightly off, it seems he’s really drunk. After that, Lee Joo Hyuk silently fiddled with the beer can. Ian refreshed the atmosphere.
“Hyung, are you drunk? Didn’t we just feel good today?”
“Feeling good… Good, of course.”
“Don’t tell me you’re regretting signing it now?”
It must be complicated here and there. Ian sighed and laughed.
“Just say you’re happy.”
“There’s no answer if you think about it in advance.”
Ian sat in front of Lee Joo Hyuk, who had been silent for a while, and said softly. For now, it’s the first time signing an exclusive contract and we feel the debut is around the corner so everyone is excited.
But perhaps Lee Joo Hyuk, who took the position of leader, must have had many thoughts. The oldest in the team.
If the debut was postponed again this time, the debut would be until a few years later. But by then, other companies also would not accept him and it would be too late to debut as an idol. Lee Joo Hyuk must have been nervous too.
Ian actually sees the age of 20 as no different than a kid, but he must have had his own hardships while taking control of the spoiled members.
The thought of ‘I’m happy to debut, but what if we fail later?’. There are a lot of groups debuting, but just how many of them will be popular.
In general, the future of idols is decided two or three years after their debut. After seeing the results in that time, the company decides whether to quit or push them further.
If sales volume or recognition is not good even after going to the 4th or 5th album, most companies will probably put forward the next group as if they have waited. Besides, their BHL Entertainment wasn’t a big agency that would push them well until the end of the contract.
No matter how good the company atmosphere is, they won’t be holding on to something that doesn’t make money.
Even with Black Rush, sales are on the decline right now so the next album will be released after a long time and each member will switch to individual activities while soon preparing for the next group.
The affiliated artist is not a person but a product. That was the normal world.
“Hyung, stop being pathetic and go to sleep. We have to take pictures tomorrow, but won’t your face get bloated?”
“Heol, it shouldn’t be like that.”
Lee Joo Hyuk got up suddenly. He hid the empty beer can deep in the recycling bag.
“We’ll be fine.”
Before entering each of their rooms, the calmed down Lee Joo Hyuk tapped Ian’s shoulder and smiled softly.